Tough Love

This week, in honor of Love and Valentine’s Day, of course, I want to share how love has touched me in a different way lately. Relocating to a different state shook me to my core and perhaps helped me put my life into perspective, propelling me to find ways to move towards achieving different goals.

Serendipity guided me back to school and my long hours of self assessment, have turned into dynamic ones with great purpose. All these opportunities for self-improvement had started to be filled with positive ways to get closer to my goals. All but in the area of fitness.

Perhaps the fear of adding yet another failure to the list of unaccomplished task, kept me comfortable in my routine of hot yoga and cycling. I had not wanted to go back to lifting weights or boot camp, or anything really that would show me, once again, that my performance was inadequate, that I was just not up to par.

Then just as I was feeling a bit more settled, more capable of accomplishment, a friend’s push to follow her into a healthy lifestyle ended with me winning a makeover at this highly personal strength training gym. Talk about intimidating. I was now there alongside my extremely fit and agile friend who is basically a poster child of determination (literally, there’s a poster at the gym with her photo at a sporting event with the legend “Determination”) and I was supposed to participate in the same class? Where there not different levels like at yoga?

She’s not one for hugs and cuddles. She instead high fives me and looks into my eyes and persuades me that I too can get it done. She makes fun of me for using weightlifting gloves for my newly-acquired calluses, but at the same time sends me encouraging texts to keep me going, to lift more, to keep challenging myself or to check out the latest trainer’s post that applies to me. She doesn’t see my goals as hefty or unattainable, she sees some kind of hidden strength in me and she informs me of its existence. She has me convinced that I can really set this as my personal goal without the fear of failure. She wants me to achieve and to thrive. She truly has my back.

Her drive, her pep talk, her tough love is something that I have come to highly appreciate and her friendship is one I know I want for the long haul.

Love comes at you in different ways, true friendship is the one that lifts you higher.

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